High Sheriff of West Sussex’s annual judges’ service: ‘Without them, we would be lost’
Without judges, the police and probation service, we would be lost. That was the message given by the High Sheriff of West Sussex, Neil Hart, following the annual judges’ service at Chichester Cathedral.
Police cadets led the shrieval procession of judges and High Sheriffs into the cathedral on Friday, following a civic procession of mayors and council chairmen.
Judges from across the south gathered for the service and Vice Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex Sir Richard Kleinwort was welcomed ahead of the procession.
The Hon Mr Justice Philip Moor, the presiding judge, and HHJ Christine Laing, the resident judge and honorary recorder of Brighton and Hove, gave readings during the service.
Speaking at the reception afterwards, Mr Hart said: “Some of you may know I was a solicitor but I was never involved in the criminal side, except very early in my career when I was practising in Hong Kong.”
He spoke of the sword of mercy and sword of justice on the High Sheriff’s badge of office, and praised the work of the police in bringing people to justice and the work of the probation service in the community.
Mr Hart added: “Increasingly through this year, when I go and see the police and talk to the probation service, I understand that without our judges, our emergency services and our prison services, there is no protection when things go wrong, no guidance when we need guidance.
“Without these people, we would be lost, so as High Sheriff, I want to recognise what they do and I would like to thank them on behalf of the county.”
The role of High Sheriff includes encouraging and supporting those who work in the voluntary and statutory sector, particularly relating to law and order.
A retiring collection was made in aid of the Sussex Community Foundation to help tackle disadvantage and build stronger communities across Sussex.